Director, Paralegal Advisory Services Institute
A national of Malawi, Clifford Msiska is a lawyer and national director of the Paralegal Advisory Service Institute (PASI). In the 1980s Mr Msiska went into exile as a result of Dr Banda’s regime in Malawi and studied for his Masters in public international law in Kiev. He returned after the referendum for multiparty democracy in 1993 and joined the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation as a legal officer helping poor and vulnerable people to access justice.
In 2001 Mr. Msiska joined Penal Reform International as national coordinator of the Paralegal Advisory Service (PAS) and then became regional co-ordinator facilitating the introduction of the PAS in Benin, Kenya, Uganda and Niger. In 2007, the PAS Institute was established and Mr Msiska continued to promote the development of paralegals as front-line legal aid providers in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Sudan as well as in Bangladesh.
In 2004, Mr Msiska was appointed a Commissioner of the Malawi Special Law Commission on the Review of the Legal Aid Act which recognized the role of paralegals and was passed into law in 2011. He is also a committee member of a national constitutional body-Malawi Human Rights Commission- responsible for prisoners’ rights. He has developed a number of training manuals on paralegals and contributed a chapter for the Open Society Justice Initiative publication-Pretrial Detention-“On the Front Lines: Insights from Malawi’s Paralegal Advisory Service.”
In 2013 Mr Msiska was appointed as a Commissioner of the Malawi Special Law Commission on the review of the Prison Act.